Looking After Our Mental Health During COVID-19

As countries introduce measures to restrict movement as part of efforts to reduce the number of people infected with COVID-19, more and more of us are making huge changes to our daily routines.

Adapting to the new lifestyle changes, and managing the fear of contracting the virus, and worry about people close to us who are particularly vulnerable, are challenging for all of us. They can be particularly difficult for people with mental health conditions.

Here are tips and advice that can be helpful

1. Keep informed

Listen to advice and recommendations from your national and local authorities. Follow trusted news channels, such as local and national TV and radio, and keep up-to-date with the latest news from WHO on social media.

2. Have a routine

  1. Keep up with daily routines as far as possible, or make new ones

  2. Get up and go to bed at similar times every day

  3. Keep up with personal hygiene

  4. Eat healthy meals at regular times

  5. Exercise regularly

  6. Allocate time for working and time for resting

  7. Make time for doing things you enjoy

3. Minimize newsfeeds

Try to reduce how much you watch, read, or listen to news that makes you feel anxious or distressed. Seek the latest information at specific times of the day, once or twice a day if needed.

4. Social contact is important

If your movements are restricted, keep in regular contact with people close to you by telephone and online channels.

5. Limit Alcohol 

Limit the amount of alcohol you drink or don’t drink alcohol at all. Avoid using alcohol and drugs as a way of dealing with fear, anxiety, boredom and social isolation.

6. Screen time

Be aware of how much time you spend in front of a screen every day. Make sure that you take regular breaks from on-screen activities.

7. Social media

Use your social media accounts to promote positive and hopeful stories. Correct misinformation wherever you see it.

Help others. If you are able to, offer support to people in your community who may need it, such as helping them with food shopping.

Support health workers. Take opportunities online or through your community to thank your country’s healthcare workers and all those working to respond to COVID-19.

8. Don’t discriminate

Fear is a normal reaction in situations of uncertainty. But sometimes fear is expressed in ways that are hurtful to other people. Remember:

  1. Be kind. Don’t discriminate against people because of your fears of the spread of COVID-19

  2. Don’t discriminate against people who you think may have coronavirus

  3. Don’t discriminate against health workers. Health workers deserve our respect and gratitude

  4. COVID-19 has affected people from many countries. Don’t attribute it to any specific group

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